The Original Cretan Diet

  • by XpatAthens
  • Friday, 20 February 2015
The Original Cretan Diet

The island of Crete lies 200 miles south of Athens and 160 miles North of Libya. It is the largest of the Greek islands with a land size of 3216 square miles. The Cretan diet forms the basis of the Mediterranean Diet and is said to be one of the healthiest in the world. 

Based on The Seven Countries Study which took place during 1958 to 1970, it was discovered that the control group of 700 rural Cretan men had exceptionally low death rates from heart disease, despite moderate to high intake of fat, and lived to a ripe old age.

The type of fat was olive oil and the beneficial health effects are due to the oil’s high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.

The Cretan people were mainly land owners, farmers, and rural agricultural workers. Traditionally living off the land, gathering wild herbs and fruits, growing their own vegetables and raising animals for meat – particularly chickens, lambs and goats.

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